Opinions divided as Delia leads race to become new PN leader

While some were thrilled at the result, many insisted that the prospect of Delia leading the PN spelled bad news for Malta's fight for good governance 

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Yannick Pace
3 September 2017, 3:06pm
Adrian Delia secured the highest number of votes at 616, with Said coming in second with 425
Adrian Delia secured the highest number of votes at 616, with Said coming in second with 425
Adrian Delia and Chris Said have been chosen by the Nationalist Party’s councillors to be the two candidates to fight it out to succeed outgoing leader Simon Busuttil as party leader.

Since the election campaign got underway almost two months ago, Delia has been touted to be the favourite among the general population, as well as the party’s paid-up members. The situation among the PN councillors was different however, and there was some uncertainty as to whether Delia would make it through to the second round.

The lawyer and political newcomer who has been campaigning for his “new way” of doing politics however left not doubt as to whether he was a force to be reckoned with, obtaining 616 votes, almost 50% of the vote. Delia was followed by Chris Said – the only one of the four candidates to have a seat in parliament – with 425 votes, with Alex Perici Calascione obtaining 296 votes, and Frank Portelli coming in fourth with a measly 11 votes.

Writing on Facebook shortly after the result was announced, Portelli insisted that the result sent a clear message of anger to the “establishment” and “hate mongers”, adding that this only served to propel Delia to victory.

 

Perici Calascione, also through a Facebook post, thank all those involved in the election, insisting that the fact that for the first time in the PN’s history, its members would be choosing the next leader showed highlighted the PN’s “greatness”

 

Civil society activist Michael Briguglio, who has been one of Busuttil's greaters supporters said he could only hope for the next leader to maintain Busuttil’s standards and struggle for good governance.

 

Outgoing Partit Demokratiku leader Marlene Farrugia however, insisted that the result now meant that the two parties were now indistinguishable.

“You should now start digging a tunnel to the panamalabour’s headquarters close by,” wrote Farrugia, adding that the country would now only have the PD to serve it.

Echoing Farrugia, Alternattiva Demokratika chairman Arnold Cassola declared Malta’s “political commodification mentality” to have reached 100% with Delia’s election.

“Muscat and Konrad have introduced the concept that a human being is important and ‘talented’ if rich and ‘high net worth’, irrespective of your ethical behaviour,” he wrote, warning that Malta risked becoming a country where low-income individuals are no longer important.

 

Kurt Farrugia, the government’s head of communications described Delia as being “just as condescending and arrogant as the present PN leadership” and part of an “elite that do not feel what people feel at home because they are well off, feed on expensive caviar and wine”.

Former PN mayor and current planning policy consultant Robert Musumeci, on the other hand, was thrilled with the result, however he seemed more interested in Daphne Caruana Galizia than what the result meant for the PN.

“Establishment, look at what the Galizia mindset has brought you to,” he wrote, ending his comment, as well as myriad of subsequent comments with #galiziabarra

 

None seemed to be more disappointed than David Griscti. The president of the Nationalist Party think-thank, Academy for the Development of a Democratic Environment (AZAD) seemed to have spent the day arguing with various people on Facebook, declaring that the PN was now dead.

Griscti, who has on numerous occasions stated publicly that he does not feel Delia is the man for the job, said that the Nationalist Party no longer had any values.

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Yannick joined MaltaToday as a journalist in 2016. His main areas of interest are politics...